Monday, January 13, 2014
With Abby currently now yeast free, I had to dig in and figure out how to make a gluten free tortilla that we not just liked but that we loved. That was easy and fast. That was stretchy and flexible. That could hold up to sauce in enchilada's. That would not tear filled with veggies. I have made a lot of tortilla's this past couple years. Some are "okay". With gluten free we just felt lucky to have something even though not so great, but these? A miracle. Perfect. Better then any wheat tortilla I have ever eaten.
I bought an electric tortilla maker. Yes, there is such a thing. Yes, I am so glad I bought it.
I bought the cheapest one I could find on Amazon.
For as much as I love it today, the first couple tries were miserable. It did not come with any directions,recipes, hints or tips. The gluten-free recipes I had used previously,failed horribly in my new toy.
Finally I went googling(which I should have done the second I realized I was over my head)and found a website called The Tortilla Press Store. They had directions on how to use an electric tortilla maker, and recipes.
With a few tweaks, we figured out how to make the best tortilla's ever. Better then the fresh hot tortilla's at Lupe Tortilla's(very popular Houston Mexican food chain).
A little different in that they look almost more like crepe's. The mouth feel is delicate like a crepe, but they are stretchy and strong enough to wrap a sandwich, breakfast burrito, heck, we liked them so much we eat them plain and hot of the press.
Like all things gluten free, these really are best the 1st day. They are still decent the second if you steam them for a few to soften them. The second day they work great for making enchilada's.
We have been making a lot of these. Every other day if we can find a reason to make them. Starting to think we might not miss yeast one bit. Sara hates gluten free anything, and she would be thrilled if I made these daily. That good.
Here is our tweaked version of the gf recipe for the tortilla maker from The Tortilla Press Store:
2 1/2 all purpose Gluten Free Flour
2 teaspoon's guar gum(NOW brand)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar(Domino's)
1/2 cup tapioca starch ****
1 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
2 ½ tsp. Baking powder(homemade or Hain's)
4 tbsp. Coconut oil(tropical traditions)
1 ¾- 2 cups warm water(Abby has been using Crystal Geyser safely)
Preheat tortilla press on highest heat setting with lid open.
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients with coconut oil until it is slightly crumbly.
Add in warm water until the dough reaches a wet and sticky(like stretchy brownie batter) consistency and look. This may require you to add more water than what the recipe calls for.I usually add the water and let it sit for 5 minutes and then assess to see if it needs more water. When you do place some batter on the press you want a soft blob that just barely holds it shape(wetter is safer then dry, I have used it where it was like very thick pancake batter and that worked better then too dry.)
The first time I used this recipe, I did sprinkle some gf flour on the press, but the second and third time I skipped that and they did not stick and worked just fine.
Once the tortilla press is heated all the way (you may want to grease,I did the first time I used it,but did not need to grease it again). Place aprox a very generous tablespoon of batter(less then 1/4 cup,but not much less) on the tortilla press (not quite center,a tiny touch more toward the hinge,though the center worked fine once I got the hang of it). Close the press and push down hard(this is the tricky part,expect to screw up a few times until you get the feel for how fast and how hard) on the handle one time, you will hear a squealing sound as steam escapes around the edges. You want the the sound of the steam escaping, but you need to avoid pressing so hard that you hear it "pop". The pop means the tortilla will be ripped. Immediately lift the pressing handle and raise the lid a bit to release steam pressure, then gently close the lid and allow the tortilla to cook for approximately 6-7 seconds. Then open the press, flip over the tortilla(I used my fingers, but you gotta be careful and quick, these will burn ya steam plus hot!), close the lid to cook for another 5-7 seconds. done.
I stack them right on top of one another. Be careful when you pull them apart. They are almost sticky, but so stretchy they come apart nicely. Mine tend to be slightly crisp when they come out(usually to one side)but stacked on top of each other by the time you have finished the whole batch, they will be relaxed,soft and amazingly elastic.
**** The extra tapioca starch is key. My all purpose blend doesn't contain enough tapioca to make a tender and stretchy tortilla.